ELMHURST, Ill. – The North Dakota State men's and women's indoor track and field teams were selected to repeat as Summit League champions in 2016-17, in a vote of the league's head coaches. The men's squad enters the season as the defending indoor team champion, while the women's team chases their 10th straight title.
The Bison received three first-place votes and 23 total points in the men's preseason poll. South Dakota State (20 points) took second place earning one first-place vote and three second-place votes, edging South Dakota's (19 points) two first-place votes. Oral Roberts (14 points), IUPUI (8 points), and Western Illinois (6 points) round out the men's poll.
For the second consecutive year, the Bison women earned seven first-place votes on their way to 49 points to finish atop the poll. South Dakota received the additional first-place vote and 41 points to place second. South Dakota State came in third with 39 points. Omaha and Oral Roberts tied for fourth after earning 26 points each, while Fort Wayne and Western Illinois tied for sixth after garnering 15 points. IUPUI rounds out the women's poll in eighth with 13 points.
Men's #SummitITF Preseason Notes
- North Dakota State returns a league-high 13 all-league performers from 2015-16, while South Dakota returns 11, Oral Roberts eight, IUPUI six, and South Dakota brings back two.
- The Bison return all four individual champions from last season, while IUPUI returns all three.
- 12-of-15 individual league champions from 2015-16 will return to defend their titles in 2016-17.
- Oral Roberts' All-American's Israel Nelson (Track Athlete of the Year) and Justin Estala (Field Athlete of the Year) return along with teammate Jaden Purnell (Newcomer of the Championship).
- North Dakota State senior Alex Renner (Field Championship MVP) returns to defend his shot put title.
- IUPUI junior Robert Murphy (Track Championship MVP) looks to defend both his mile and 3,000 meter titles.
Women's #SummitITF Preseason Notes
- North Dakota State is coming off its league-record ninth straight women's indoor championship.
- The Bison retain a league-high three individual league champions from 2015-16, while the Golden Eagles bring back two and the Fighting Leathernecks one.
- North Dakota State brings back a league-best 14 all-league performers, followed by South Dakota with 10. Oral Roberts and South Dakota State each return three, Omaha two, and Fort Wayne one.
- ORU's Shanice Cannigan (Track Champion MVP) returns with teammates Emily Grove (Field Athlete of the Year) and Karina Dufoe (Newcomer of the Championship)
#SummitITF Schedule Notes
- The 2016-17 season begins Friday, Dec. 2 with two Summit League teams (North Dakota State and South Dakota State) hosting meets over the weekend while Oral Roberts opens at the Bob Timmons Challenge in Lawrence, Kan.
- Fort Wayne and IUPUI will begin their campaigns the following day (Dec. 3) at the Mastodon Opener. South Dakota hosts its season opener on Dec. 5.
- All six men's and eight women's teams will compete at The Summit League Championships, Feb. 24-25 in Brookings, S.D.
MEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD POLL
Rank School (1st) Points 2016 Finish
1. North Dakota State (3) 23 1st
2. South Dakota State (1) 20 2nd
3. South Dakota (2) 19 4th
4. Oral Roberts 14 3rd
5. IUPUI 8 5th
6. Western Illinois 6 6th
WOMEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD POLL
Rank School (1st) Points 2016 Finish
1. North Dakota State (7) 49 1st
2. South Dakota (1) 41 2nd
3. South Dakota State 39 3rd
4. Omaha 26 5th
Oral Roberts 26 4th
6. Western Illinois 15 7th
Fort Wayne 15 6th
8. IUPUI 13 8th
For the latest information on ORU Track and Field, follow the Golden Eagles on Facebook and Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.